Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have been doing lots of reading these last few weeks, and these books are at the top of my pile.  'Pattern' by Orla Kiely is a huge book filled with her incredible body of work, from surface pattern to clothing design. I am so inspired when I look at her use of colour and design, and especially her use of transparent overlays. It's something I've been experimenting with a bit, both on the computer and more recently block printing, as you'll soon see. 


The other two books, 'A field guide to fabric design' by Kimberly Kight (from TrueUp) and 'The complete guide to designing and printing fabric'  by Laurie Wisbrun are both very informative, both for computer-aided design and traditional printing methods. Which brings me to my project: a simple block print using perspex and craft foam.  

A while ago Joshua cut heaps of tiny little squares and rectangles and promptly forgot what he wanted to do with it.  I was about to throw it all away when I thought about how nice the shapes looked together, so I kept them all with the hope of finding time to do something with it. Then I remembered reading Jesse's post about printing with foam.  By the way, Jesse Breytenbach is a print-making guru and wrote some tutorials for Laurie Wisbrun's book I mentioned above.

This is the first time I've tried block printing, and it was so much fun! I printed on fabric, but of course this would work for paper too if you used the right paint.  I found a piece of perspex and glued the shapes to it using waterproof glue.  I used an old cookie tray, put a dollop of textile paint on which I then covered with a piece of felt.  I used a little ink roller to distribute the paint across the felt and I had a stamp pad!  I'm experimenting with prints at the moment, but I really like the off-register effect I got by doing two colours over each other. It adds a bit of depth to the design too, which was quite serendipitous! 

I definitely want to experiment more with fabric designs this year, as I'm truly enjoying learning more about it. 


Jacqui said...

Love the pattern! I've always wanted to try printing on fabric but find the idea of starting quite intimidating for some reason - what paint should I use, where do I get an ink roller, what would I use to attach the stamps to... I just question myself into inactivity when I know darn well I have fabric paint and potatoes make lovely stamps! The question I'm really asking myself, of course, is "what if I screw it up?" oh dear, I think I just let my Freudian slip show ;)

markkfinn said...

This is the first time I've tried block printing, and it was so much fun! I printed on fabric, but of course this would work for paper too if you used the right paint.

scrapbook album

Annie B said...

I would love to do some fabric printing too and it is certainly on my to-do list but always ends up at the bottom. Perhaps we should all get together for a workshop some time!

Ruby in the Dust said...

Jacqui, I know the feeling! I always over-plan things and then it all becomes too hard to actually do it... But you know you can do this; it’s just a step up from potato prints and you can do a test run on paper :)

Annie, this might be a good thing to do at Angela's craft days! Will talk to her about it.

Megan said...

that is such a great idea making a giant ink pad out of the tray and felt! and the print looks amazing, can see why it would get addictive! am guessing you've probably already come across Lotta Jansdotter's and her printing books? I read it last year, didn't do any printing but would really like to one day!

Jesse said...

I'm quite besotted with that off-register print :)

Alex O said...

I am giving you on the Liebster Blog Award. See my blog for more details:

Sarah said...

These look very funky. I have always wanted to learn how to do fabric prints, thanks for the tip with the foam bits - will look forward to your future posts of experimenting